'Hooking Up' / Constructing Meaning

‘Hooking Up’ / Constructing Meaning

A few more thoughts. And this is a bit of a doozy so bear with me…

In beginning to shoot my doco and starting to cut interview footage alongside archival footage, I’m becoming increasingly aware of the construction of meaning by doing this. Up until this point I’ve been very vocal about how I want the film not to be explicit in any way, that I want audiences to be involved in the construction of meaning. Yet, it seems inevitable that as a filmmaker, my perspective is stamped all over it. This could be problematic.

I don’t want the film to be a comment on hookup culture, I want it to be a representation of hookup culture. I am also mindful that a representation can inform commentary, but I still think it’s an important distinction. It’s about raising ones consciousness and allowing the audience to find their own meaning in it rather than telling them what to think.

I also don’t want to be romanticising a bygone era. Since most of my archival footage comes from 1940s and 50s social guidance films and most tend to be giving advice on how to have good etiquette in dating, it seems kind of natural that these end up on a pedestal in contrast to more graphic and at times negative modern day tales of hooking up. This isn’t my intention.

As I’m starting to lock down my interview participants, I’m also becoming more aware that they seem to come from similar socio-economic backgrounds, mostly creative industries and namely left political leanings. This could also be troublesome.

I guess my main qualm with all of this is that I really just want to portray a very truthful, very real account — what every documentarian aspires to, right? — of hookup culture. I feel that by choosing people from within my own social circles, and juxtaposing personal modern day tales with footage from a particular era, I’m maybe not painting a very honest overall picture.

Nothing exists in a vacuum though, right? More stuff to think about!